Black History PBS Film Series

This film series will explore key people and topics related to Black history nationally and with local Scranton salience. The films will explore the visions of freedom offered by the life of Harriet Tubman; the journey of the formerly enslaved Frederick Douglass; and how northern cities promulgated racial housing policies that continue to reverberate today. Events will include a 1-hour film screening followed by a 30-minute Q&A with discussants drawn from the co-sponsoring organizations.  

Harriet Tubman: Visions of Freedom
Sunday, Feb. 5, 3 - 4:30 pm, Black Scranton Project Center for Arts & Culture, 1902 Main Ave., Scranton, PA

Go beyond the legend and meet the inspiring woman who repeatedly risked her own life and freedom to liberate others from slavery. Born 200 years ago in Maryland, Harriet Tubman was a conductor of the Underground Railroad, a Civil War scout, nurse and spy, and one of the greatest freedom fighters in our nation’s history.

Becoming Frederick Douglass
Sunday, Feb. 19, 3 - 4:30 pmBlack Scranton Project Center for Arts & Culture, 1902 Main Ave., Scranton, PA

Discover how a man born into slavery became one of the most influential voices for democracy in American history. Oscar-nominated filmmaker Stanley Nelson explores the role Douglass played in securing the right to freedom for African Americans.

Discussion to follow with local historians E. J. Murphy and Glynis Johns

Jim Crow of the North
Sunday, Feb. 26, 3 - 4:30 pm, Moskowitz Theater, The DeNaples Center, 4th floor, The University of Scranton

Why does Minnesota suffer through some of the worst racial disparities in the nation? One answer is the spread of racist, restrictive real estate covenants in the early 20th century. Jim Crow of the North charts the progression of racist policies and practices from the advent of restrictive covenants after the turn of the last century to their final elimination in the late 1960's.



Glynis Johns
Glynis Johns is the founder and CEO of Black Scranton Project, a 501(c)3 non-profit organization, local heritage initiative, and public history venture dedicated to archiving and celebrating the Black history of Scranton and Northeastern Pennsylvania. Glynis dedicates much of her time studying 19th and 20th century African American history. A native Scrantonian, local historian, sociologist, artist, documentarian, and advocate; Glynis research focuses primarily on Scranton to piece together narratives of the black community. She received her BA and MA in sociology at St. John’s University. 


EJ Murphy
EJ Murphy is an educator and public historian. He is the Program Manager of the Destination Freedom: Underground Railroad Walking Tour of Waverly at the Waverly Community House and teaches social studies at the Howard Gardner Multiple Intelligence Charter School in Scranton. He has written articles for the National Museum of Civil War Medicine as well as the Pennsylvania in the Civil War blog and lectures on various topics related to Civil War era history. 


To register for this event, please email or call 570-941-4419. 



Event sponsors:

  • The University of Scranton
  • The National Endowment for the Humanities
  • Black Scranton Project 
  • WVIA 
  • Destination Freedom: Underground Railroad Walking Tour of Waverly